Tips for Healthy Living
We all think about making changes in January don't we? Maybe it's all the food and extras over the holidays? Maybe it's the start of a new year and wanting to do things differently? Or maybe it's another reason altogether. Why wait though for 2022 when you can start today with new lifestyle changes. People often assume therapy is only about our minds (which is a big part!) but the holistic approach looks at everything- mind, body, spirit. So today, I'm going to give some tips for healthy living and perhaps consider starting now. Why wait for the new year when you can make changes today!
Set a Routine- People are creatures of habit by nature. With summer, we all slack into a more laid back pattern. Start today creating more routine in your life. Look for ways to maximize your time. Having more predictability in your life may help you feel more secure.
Stay Active- Regular exercise has very positive impacts on your physical AND emotional healthy. In fact, exercise can be one of the most powerful tools for managing stress and anxiety in your life. (Maybe that needs a blog post all of it's own!) If you don't exercise often, start small. People often get motivated and jump in fast which can lead to burnout or injury. Start smaller and make increases each week in what you are able to do. Aim for at least 20 minutes three times a week. Try adding variety in your workouts so you don't get bored. Not many people can run on the treadmill every day and actually enjoy it- or at least that's my experience! Try instead walking around your neighborhood or campus, try hiking, find a workout buddy, try an exercise class. We have lots of options in Oxford so try out some different places.
Heathy Eating- This one always comes up with exercise doesn't it! It's important because combined they do make a huge impact on your overall health. Try finding well-balanced meals. Plan ahead for the week which will help you with your grocery shopping, budgeting and finding balanced foods. Wondering how to be healthier? Try reducing your sugar and salt intake. Try more water and less carbonated drinks. Aim for 3 meals and smaller snacks in between. If you feel this area needs more work, try reaching out to a nutritionist to help you plan better.
Establish Social Supports- It's important to have people in your life that you can count on. If helps to have friends or family to talk to when you have rough days. It's important to have social outlets for times of fun and fellowship.
Learn to Relax- Okay this can be a hard one but it's an important part of self-care. The whole, put your oxygen mask on first so you can help others thing. That is what I'm talking about. You have to take care of yourself so you can be there for others. Try learning relaxation techniques to help decrease your overall tension and stress levels. Relaxation is not just chilling and watching TV. Deep relaxation is putting your body in the opposite state of stress. You can do this through various techniques including deep breathing, muscle relaxation, yoga, mindfulness etc.
Reduce Stimulants- This is coming from a major coffee lover! However, caffeine is linked to increase in anxiety and sleep disturbances. So if you are struggling with either, try looking at how much you consume in a day and the time of day you are consuming it. Smoking can also be a stimulant.
Get Regular Check-Ups- You take your car for oil changes, right? Why not your body? It's important to have routine check ups with a medical provider to make sure no lingering health problems are there and to be preventive in fighting off any.
Learn to say "No."- Learning boundaries are an important part of living a balanced life. Saying no to things that overbook you or are not healthy for you is important. This is one way to practice time management and maximize your time. What areas can you say no in your life?
Be Patient! Please be patient with yourself. Making changes takes time. Making changes can be hard. Start small. Make the first steps. Then hang in there and stick with it. You will be amazed at the progress you can make.
Feed your soul- Don't neglect that part of you that's not as visible. Look for ways to stay connected to your Creator. Maybe it's through small groups, bible studies, prayer groups, or just creation. Feed all parts of you!
If you need help getting started, consider therapy. We can work on specific goals for you and therapy can help provide accountability. Reach out today!